National talent management strategy for school business professionals

The summer is over and darker nights are here, bringing with them the usual range of TV shows where celebrities and wannabes hone their aspiring talents in dancing, singing or even business skills for our entertainment. Enjoyable though these shows are, I am more interested in the year-round activity of encouraging and supporting talented people …

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“appoint people who are better than you and then get out of their way.”

The oft repeated leadership adage is that good leaders appoint people who are better than themselves and then get out of their way. It is something I have tried to do in every leadership position I have had; surround myself with people who are really, really good at doing their thing and letting them do …

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Frustrated by some social media comments about SRMAs

IN the last 24 hours, twitter has been alive with head-in-hands memes and GIFs of people rolling their eyes. Why? Because the DfE have confirmed their intention to spend a relatively small amount of money deploying a growing group of specialist advisors into schools facing financial difficulty. A number of leading commentators have suggested that …

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A New Role…

By now you may have heard that I have taken on the role of Chair of the Institute of School Business Leadership. For the next 12 months, I will be steering the work of the board and working to build on the reputation ISBL enjoys with our partners, stakeholders and the wider sector. I am …

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The SBL who attended ResearchED Brum 2018

I attended my first researchED event yesterday when ResearchED Brum 2018 took place at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School. It was the first time the movement/community, for that is how it styles itself, had come to Birmingham and it provided the perfect opportunity to put a toe in the water. I wasn’t sure how welcoming the …

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Survey sheds light on SBL and Governor relationships

A survey I undertook into the interaction between school business leaders and their governing body has shed light on how few SBLs work with their governors to monitor standards and outcomes for pupils. Worryingly, a significant number of SBLs reported ‘irregular practices’ in their school or academy trust ranging from concealing bad news from governors …

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A school business leader’s cry for help

I read two things yesterday that both moved me to respond to them – but they contained such different views that the only place I could start was Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and it’s famous opening lines: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age …

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Are we privatising knowledge, not schools?

Much has been written about how the academisation of schools is ‘privatising education’ Every couple of weeks, the TES and Schools Week seem to feature a story where connected party transactions or CEO wage inflation are causing concern. However, there are also good examples of where the structural change of academisation has prompted a root and branch review …

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Everest: a lesson in leadership

A brief leadership story drawn from the 1996 Everest Disaster Stephen Morales wanted to use lessons from a disastrous climbing expedition in 1996 to illustrate the perils of pressing on too high, too far, too soon as NASBM transitioned to institute status. He was unable to deliver the presentation to conference as planned on the 16th November 2017 and …

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Professional Prominence: opening address from the last NASBM conference

  This is the text of the opening address I gave in place of Stephen Morales at the final NASBM Annual Conference (NASBM becomes the Institute of School Business Leadership tomorrow). It has had minor edits to make it suitable for reading but is 98% ‘as delivered’. The slides appear in the text at the …

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